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Tip O'Neil used to say that "All politics is local", but there's nothing like local politics in Amherst. This spring, before Lombardi left, the University signed an agreement with the town over an array of issues where the town and the University interact including fire and police services, water use, and Mark's Meadow school. Recently, the Selectboard was asked to ratify one aspect of this: a waiver for charges the town previously made to the University for the use of wastewater. A local curmudgeon believes that Alisa and another Selectboard member should recuse themselves because of connections to the University and has been sending complaints to the state ethics commission. The tempest-in-a-teapot has stirred up a series of articles in the press that talk about me as "Brewer's husband, a full-time lecturer...". (Now that's Senior Lecturer!)

Yesterday, in comments to one of the articles, the curmudgeon posted a series of comments, trying to make a math joke (because the other Selectboard member is a math professor). At the end of each comment, he included the URL to his blog. Another commenter, who called himself "Hogwash" responded with a critique and included a URL at the end of his comment that looked just like a link to the original blog, except he changed the hostname from "" to "". I was tempted to go out and register "", but its probably not worth the $12 and only netwits would get the joke anyway. The curmudgeon evidently didn't notice the change, because he thanked the previous poster for plugging his blog.

The water issue has been hanging over the town and the University for several years. It started when the University developed an energy-conservation proposal to be a more "green" campus. A colleague who served on the committee that developed the proposal told me that the town, which had been complaining about the high demand of the campus for water went ballistic when they found out that the University was going to be able cut their water use by 40% or some such: "What? You're going to save $400,000? Wait! You need to give 75% of that to us!" There's really no politics like Amherst politics.